Monday, November 22, 2010

The Duluoz Legend

I went to see Canaletto and his Rivals in the National Gallery yesterday; a fact I record here only because an earlier post informs me that it was an astounding three and a half years ago that I went to see Canaletto in England at Dulwich.

I finished off Kerouac's The Dharma Bums on the tube on my way to The Embankment. It really chimed with me. Here is a crib sheet that Beat Generation scholars can use to relate the characters from the very autobiographical book with their real life equivalents:

Jack Kerouac Ray Smith
Caroline Kerouac Nin
Carolyn Cassady Evelyn
Neal Cassady Cody Pomeray
Claude Dalenberg Bud Diefendorf
Allen Ginsberg Alvah Goldbook
Natalie Jackson Rosie Buchanan
Philip Lamantia Francis DaPavia
Michael McClure Ike O'Shay
Locke McCorkle Sean Monahan
John Montgomery Henry Morley
Peter Orlovsky George
Kenneth Rexroth Rheinhold Cacoethes
Gary Snyder Japhy Ryder
Alan Watts Arthur Whane
Philip Whalen Warren Coughlin

Kerouac wrote that:
My work compromises one vast book like Proust's Remembrance of Things Past except that my remembrances are written on the run instead of afterwards in a sick bed. Because of the objections of my early publishers I was not allowed to use the same personae names in each work. On The Road, The Subterraneans, The Dharma Bums, Doctor Sax, Maggie Cassidy, Tristessa, Desolation Angels, and the other are just chapters in the whole work which I call The Duluoz Legend. In my old age I intend to collect all my work and reinsert my pantheon of uniform names, leave the long shelf full of books there, and die happy. The whole thing forms one enormous comedy, seen through they eyes of poor Ti Jean (me), otherwise known as Jack Duluoz, the world of raging action and folly and also of gentle sweetness seen through the keyhole of his eye.
I'm very tempted to go straight back up the mountain with Desolation Angels which is the next in the series chronologically - though not in the order of publication.

Then again, I am also hearing good things about Life: Keith Richards

It might be fun to read that using Spotify to listen to all the tracks as he discusses them.

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